Read the article ‘Opening the doors of mercy’ and answer the following questions. Then share your answers in pairs, small groups or in a classroom discussion.
1. In the article 'Opening the doors of mercy’, Jenny Krikis uses the term of 'opening the doors of mercy’ as a metaphor to show how Australians could show more love and offer more help to vulnerable people in our society. What is a metaphor? Why is using a metaphor helpful when trying to explain something?
2. Look over the list of vulnerable groups Jenny writes about in her article. Which group do you think Australians are working to show mercy to? Whom does Australia need to show more mercy to?
3. Research online if there are any organisations working to help these groups. If so, what are they doing?
4. For each of the six groups Jenny lists, write one way Australians could show these people mercy.
5. Other than those Jenny mentioned, list three other groups you think deserve to receive more mercy from Australians. How could we do this?
1. Get involved: Pick an issue you feel passionate about and then either find a charity or organization that works to help people facing this issue. Then think of a fun way that your school can raise money to support their work – such as a games competition where everyone pays to enter, or a stall where students bring in goodies to sell at lunchtime.
2. Mercy art show: As a class, host a mercy art show raising awareness about a vulnerable group of people that Australians should show mercy to. Students can choose any art medium to express the realities of the marginalised in Australia.
Your class can have a day to present its work or open up the art show to the whole school.
For younger students
Teachers can read the story ‘Opening the doors of mercy’ to their class or summarise it for their students. Then teachers can discuss the importance of showing others mercy especially to the vulnerable and those in need. Students can share the different ways Christians show mercy to others.
After students can take a piece of paper and draw one vertical line and one horizontal down the middle of the paper, making four even boxes. In each box, students can draw those who deserve mercy. Under each picture, students can write a few sentences describing their drawing.
When students are finished with their work, they can share it with their class.
For further learning
1. What do you think about opening the doors of mercy to the groups of people Jenny writes about?
2. What do other religions and the Catholic Church think? What about everyday Australians? (You may need to research this.)
3. Why do you think religious groups may think differently about showing mercy to certain vulnerable groups than others?
4. Imagine you are a person in a marginalised group. Why do you deserve mercy from Australians? Write a short letter explaining your position.
5. How did writing a letter from the perspective of someone in a marginalised group change your views of whom we should show mercy to?